– Alleged schemers now facing 72 fraud charges
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Anil Nandlall, yesterday said that the government has established a task force to help recover the monies from the alleged Ponzi schemers, Yuri Garcia-Dominguez and his wife Ateeka Ishmael.
This information was revealed during an update from the Minister on the Ponzi scheme, in which millions of dollars were swindled out of the pockets of hundreds of Guyanese.
Minister Nandlall said, “There have been a number of developments that have taken place.” He explained that government’s priority is to recover the monies so that the persons who were defrauded can be repaid.
According to the Minister, the government has since established a task force which will include a number of state agencies that will work together to achieve the objective of recovering the money.
He revealed too that the investigations have moved in the direction of anti-money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML / CFT) structure.
The Minister highlighted that the two persons that are on remand for multiple fraud charges, Garcia-Dominguez and his wife, have approached the High Court for bail on multiple occasions but their request was denied.
During the investigation, the task force discovered that the accounts and the companies that were provided by the persons that were arrested do not exist.
According to the Minister, Garcia- Dominguez had requested that a bank account be reopened so that money can be returned to Guyana and be deposited to that account. His request was granted.
Garcia- Dominguez then made another request for access to a computer so that he can do certain transactions that will help recover the money. The Minster noted that the defendant was provided with the computer but yet no money was recovered.
The Minister posited that the police were given instructions to not sign any agreement with Garcia- Dominguez, since as soon as bail is granted, he will skip the jurisdiction.
A search was conducted to discover all assets that Garcia- Dominguez owns in Guyana. However, that investigation revealed that he doesn’t own any property or motor vehicle in the country.
According to the Minister, to date no one can provide information as to the whereabouts of the money obtained from the people of Guyana. He noted that “it is clear that the money was received as part of a fraudulent enterprise and they have been converted to the recipients own use and that no one knows where the money is being kept and there is no assets that the government can hold on to.”
All efforts to work with the accused to get the money returned to Guyana have proven futile.
Meanwhile, Garcia-Dominguez and his wife are now facing a total of 72 charges.
The couple was yesterday arraigned before Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, when seven more charges – ‘conspiracy to commit a felony’ – were read to them.
Magistrate Marcus granted the defendants bail in the sum of $300,000, on each charge and the matter was adjourned to October 5, 2020.
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